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Browncoat Patch

POSTED BY: ARTEMIS
UPDATED: Monday, November 15, 2010 17:32
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Saturday, February 3, 2007 9:10 AM

ARTEMIS


So, I bought a new purse, specifically to have something to put my new Browncoat patch on. Now, I have two questions.

1. It seems that the most accepted version of the patch is "point down". Is that right?

2. Anyone had any experience with these patches? I've never done one before and I don't wanna mess it up. Does it require something between the patch and the iron, or can you apply the iron straight to the patch.

Thanks All!


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Saturday, February 3, 2007 9:10 AM

ARTEMIS


So, I bought a new purse, specifically to have something to put my new Browncoat patch on. Now, I have two questions.

1. It seems that the most accepted version of the patch is "point down". Is that right?

2. Anyone had any experience with these patches? I've never done one before and I don't wanna mess it up. Does it require something between the patch and the iron, or can you apply the iron straight to the patch.

Thanks All!


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Saturday, February 3, 2007 9:32 AM

MONKSDAD


Out to the black outfitters has a bag with the patch on it. here is the link, this is also how i put my patch on my laptop bag.

http://www.outtotheblack.com/bags.html

"And I think calling him that is an insult to the psychotic lowlife community."

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Saturday, February 3, 2007 9:36 AM

ARTEMIS


Okay, thanks for that link, very useful. So, is it safe to apply the iron directly to these patches?

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Saturday, February 3, 2007 9:36 AM

ARTEMIS


Okay, thanks for that link, very useful. So, is it safe to apply the iron directly to these patches?

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Saturday, February 3, 2007 12:04 PM

MONKSDAD


I had no problem applying it to my nylon laptop bag, but... I really just used the iron on to hole it in place while i stitched in the edges. and just to let you know i had know idea what i was doing when i did it lol. but it came out fine. I will post a picture later today.


"And I think calling him that is an insult to the psychotic lowlife community."

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Saturday, February 3, 2007 12:32 PM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by Artemis:
1. It seems that the most accepted version of the patch is "point down". Is that right?

I don't think so. The visual companion shows point down for patches on their own, but it also shows that the patches are point up on the shoulder of the Independent soldiers. It seems to be point up everywhere save for a few images in the virtual companion.



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Saturday, February 3, 2007 5:41 PM

PEULSAR5

We sniff the air, we don't kiss the dirt.


Just for clarification--are you meaning point up for the whole triangle patch itself and thus point down for the star in the middle, or vice-versa?

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Saturday, February 3, 2007 11:04 PM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by Peulsar5:
Just for clarification--are you meaning point up for the whole triangle patch itself and thus point down for the star in the middle, or vice-versa?

Triangle point up, Star point down.



More insane ramblings by the people who brought you beeeer milkshakes!
No one can see their reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.

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Sunday, February 4, 2007 12:56 AM

PEULSAR5

We sniff the air, we don't kiss the dirt.


Thank you! That's what I always thought, just checking.

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Friday, February 1, 2008 1:41 PM

SAMLOWRY


I just watched the beginning of the first episode very closely. True, Mal is wearing the patch triangle point up (star upside down). But the patch he rips off of the shoulder of the dead lieutenant was triangle point down (star right-side up). Further, when he turned it over to read the name, the writing on the back was right-side-up when the triangle point was down. To me, this shows that triangle point down is correct. Mal's was either a wardrobe error, or he was just being diff'rent.


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Monday, February 25, 2008 8:46 PM

FIGROCK


In the patch ripped off the dead lieutenant (point down) there is clearly blue on the patch (I believe it to be his star). Mal's shoulder patch (clearly point up) has no blue. My guess would be that the triangle changes direction and the star changes color depending on rank.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008 1:09 AM

FLATTOP


For ironing stuff (patches) on... The best way I've found to do it is to apply the heat through the base object (purse, bag, uniform). The patch is rather thick, and takes a bit of work to get enough heat through it to melt the thermal interfacing. The base object is generally thinner & you won't be looking at the inside/backside of it as much as at your patch so if the heat does distort anything, it's less noticeable.
Iron-on stuff is IMHO not to be trusted. Iron it on to get it to hold its position long enough to sew it into place. I'm a big fan of hand stitching, but with a bit of patience a decent machine can be set up to do a fair job.

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Monday, July 13, 2009 11:42 PM

TIMTAM


Does anyone know that the differences in the colours of the patch mean? I've seen a green, black, and gold boarder. I figure they are rank specific, but does anyone know what rank each means? Thanks.

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Friday, July 17, 2009 3:56 AM

BLUESUNCOMPANYMAN


Quote:

Originally posted by citizen:
Triangle point up, Star point down.

Sadly I must agree with Citizen. 2nd time in 2 weeks. 1st time over string theory and again on the patch.

Allow me to explain what I've learned on this subject, some of which you can read about in the thread called "Making a Fan Film" in this section.

Because I'm in the midst of making a film about the Unification War I needed to present both the Independent Flag and the patch correctly to the camera. 2 subjects came to the fore rather quickly:
1. Star black or Blue?
2. Star point up or down?

The 1st issue is rather easy to solve. Patches visible in both the Serenity Valley sequence of the Pilot episode and the Du-Khang sequence of The Message display a BLUE star. Black stars were created from fandom confusion. Not that a fan wouldn't understand the image on your bag should the star be black, but if you want the best canon possible, purchase a patch with a blue star.

Now onto the 2nd issue that is a point of great contention amongst some fans. This issue started prior to the shooting of the pilot episode. The costumer Shawna Tripcic was working for Joss and asked the question "How do you want me to sew on this shoulder patch for Nathan Fillions Brown Coat?" She was told "the point goes down". This rather vague instruction would lead to what has become the greatest arguement inside firefly fandom. What Joss meant was to sew the patch on with the TRIANGLE POINT DOWN. Shawna didn't understand that and took the statement to mean that the STAR POINTED DOWN.

Filming commenced with a patch sewn showing star pointing down. Because this is a central point to my film I've done deep research into the canon of the show and found these things:
1. When Mal is in the trench in Serenity Valley prior to the "Done the Impossible" speech, you can see his patch in freeze frames and the star is point down.
2. When Mal drags Tracey to his feet after the seeker explodes in the Du-Khang sequence, you can again see his patch has the star down.
3. When Tracey is sitting alone at the start of the Du-Khang sequence, he looks out over his fellow browncoats and a browncoat extra runs by in frame. His shoulder patch is visible in a couple freeze frames and again the star is clearly point down.

The debate you are hearing about has grown in volume since 2004 and is basically an arguement between two ideals: The established CANON of the show and the inital INTENT of the creator of the show itself. In my research and travels through Firefly fandom I've observed that the majority of fans present the star pointing down. Occasionally though I'll run into proponents for "star up" though I'd say that the ratio of star "up" to star "down" has sofar about 1 in 12. Also to muddle the waters a bit more, there are times when "offical" merch presents a star up. For example: If you were to spend $150 to buy the "offical" Mal's sidearm from Universal Studeos, it will come with a patch in it's case and the triangle will point down in contradiction to the canon of the TV show.

The subject is as clear as go-se.

For my part, I believe the star should point DOWN. I came to this conclusion when I learned about an elderly painter who once wished to extract a work he painted in his youth from the Louvre museum in Paris to correct flaws. He was told no. The reason was that his finished work was now considered "perfect" by the world community and any work done to it, even by the creator himself, would be considered vandalism. To me, Firefly exists in the same way. The patch was sewn star point down. This is a fact. 2 canon battles display it this way. Furthermore, an extra runs by in Du-Khang showing another patch on another coat which further seals the matter into canon.

I intend to display a patch to the viewer of my film with a blue star point down. Additionally a Flag will fly as well, again with a blue star pointing down.

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Friday, July 17, 2009 4:09 AM

BLUESUNCOMPANYMAN


Quote:

Originally posted by TimTam:
Does anyone know that the differences in the colours of the patch mean? I've seen a green, black, and gold boarder. I figure they are rank specific, but does anyone know what rank each means? Thanks.



This is another topic that isn't explained anywhere in canon but the best analysis I've read so far would lead to this NON-CANON result:

1. The dead Lt. Baker had a green border patch. This is the patch of a lower-ranking officer.

2. Black borders are enlisted. If the patch has black "fill-ins" at the corner tips, the patch represents an NCO.

3. A guess has been that Gold borders are for senior officers.

The only canon that exists to support these premises is that the dead Lt. Baker's patch was clearly green bordered when they pulled it off to reveal the Authorization Code to give to the 82nd for air support. Mal's patch on the other hand has black borders in freeze-frames. You cannot get enough clarity to determine if the corners of mal's patch are filled or not.

That's the best info I can offer.

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Friday, July 17, 2009 2:01 PM

TIMTAM


Thanks for the info BSCM. Few more questions: what do you mean by "fill-ins" and is there a gallery to show each kind of patch?

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009 8:00 AM

MENDUR


Interesting discussion. Thank you to all involved for the clarifications. Since I'm more of an "enlisted" type than an officer, looks like I'll be getting the black-bordered patch and wearing it triangle-point up, just like Mal.

p.s., This is my first post. I'm always late to everything that's shiny.

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Monday, December 7, 2009 7:17 PM

PENNAUSAMIKE


From the owner of the original patches:

Quote:


Triangle point up or point down?

I did a lot of research into the patch question.

I know the fans have talked about it and,
as with all fictional universes,
an internal logic system has been generated to explain things.

3 things sell me on the triangle point-down idea;

1. The Lt code is printed to read correctly with the patch in this orientation.

2. Anytime a 5 point star is used in military decoration, it is always one point up, two points down.

3. Mal is the only one with an upside down patch.

The scene was shot on location on days which were full of special effects and extras. I believe Mal's upside down patch is a simple costume department error.

These things happen.



I'm sure I read or heard Shawna Trpcic verify that a seamstress applied the patch incorrectly.
It was designed to be displayed triangle point down, star point up.

That orientation has been re-affirmed by BDM Serenity designer Geoff Mandel.
QMx is the official license holder for Firefly and Serenity and they use the "triangle point-down-star point-up" orientation.

Also, in the BDM, Alliance patches are triangle point-up, making the Independents triangle point-down an appropriate counter-point.
I'm a,
"triangle point down, star right side up" Browncoat.

Independents- triangle point down.
Alliance- triangle point up.
In my 'verse, anyway.

Far as the ranks;
'Sgt' is Mal's with the black border.
'Lt' is with the backprint and the green border
'Cpt' is with the yellow border





Mike

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Saturday, November 13, 2010 10:03 PM

BROWNCOATKAL


Quote:

Originally posted by bluesuncompanyman:
Quote:

Originally posted by citizen:
Triangle point up, Star point down.


For my part, I believe the star should point DOWN. I came to this conclusion when I learned about an elderly painter who once wished to extract a work he painted in his youth from the Louvre museum in Paris to correct flaws. He was told no. The reason was that his finished work was now considered "perfect" by the world community and any work done to it, even by the creator himself, would be considered vandalism. To me, Firefly exists in the same way. The patch was sewn star point down. This is a fact. 2 canon battles display it this way. Furthermore, an extra runs by in Du-Khang showing another patch on another coat which further seals the matter into canon.



While that is an interesting point, I must disagree. The reason is because Firefly is an ever evolving work. The painting is a piece of work that was considered complete at the time it was hung in the museum. As for Firefly, there's still new work coming out, and we still hold out hope, however slim, that another movie will be produced. In that movie, If we see flashback scenes, we could see patches triangle point down. I point this out because a new Serenity comic was just released. It is Serenity: The Shepherd's Tale. In it we finally learn the backstory of Book. I won't give away any spoilers here, but I will just say this, in the comic we see the Independent logo, and it is represented triangle point down, star point up. Keep in mind that this book is considered canon, written by Joss Whedon's brother Zack, from an outline by Joss. This means that Joss had to approve everything that went into the book, including the visual representations of his 'verse. I think this settles the question once and for all as Joss is letting us know the way he prefers the symbol to be represented.

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Sunday, November 14, 2010 8:13 AM

LILI

Doing it backwards. Walking up the downslide.


Quote:

Originally posted by citizen:
The visual companion shows point down for patches on their own, but it also shows that the patches are point up on the shoulder of the Independent soldiers.


It shows it point up on Mal's coat, which was then explicitly stated by the designer to be an error. I've seen a lot of fan theories come up as to why Mal would wear it upside-down, such as it being a sign of distress or of mourning, but the fact of the matter is the costuming department just got it wrong, The patches were designed to be point down, star right-side up.


Facts are stubborn things.

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Monday, November 15, 2010 3:10 PM

BROWNCOATKAL


Quote:

Originally posted by LiLi:
Quote:

Originally posted by citizen:
The visual companion shows point down for patches on their own, but it also shows that the patches are point up on the shoulder of the Independent soldiers.


It shows it point up on Mal's coat, which was then explicitly stated by the designer to be an error. I've seen a lot of fan theories come up as to why Mal would wear it upside-down, such as it being a sign of distress or of mourning, but the fact of the matter is the costuming department just got it wrong, The patches were designed to be point down, star right-side up.


Facts are stubborn things.



I agree. And if I am to believe the patch should be worn triangle point down, star point up, I also believe that when flying the Browncoat flag, the star should be point up as well.

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Monday, November 15, 2010 3:15 PM

BROWNCOATKAL


Quote:

Originally posted by citizen:
The visual companion shows point down for patches on their own, but it also shows that the patches are point up on the shoulder of the Independent soldiers.


Where? Other than the picture of Mal from the pilot episode with his patch on triangle point up, where do you see the patches on the shoulders of the Independent soldiers? Which volume and on what page? The costume designs on page 15 of volume one show drawings of Mal and Zoe, but neither of them are wearing patches. And as you stated, underneath those drawings, the patches are shown triangle point down.

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Monday, November 15, 2010 5:32 PM

PENNAUSAMIKE


Screencaps show the patches oriented both ways.
I listed my reasons for, "triangle point down star point up" in my post above.
And yes, when the 3'X5' Independents flag is flown at my house, the star points up.

Mike

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